Former friends will temporarily turn into foes when Marcello Lippi and Sven-Goran Eriksson face-off in an Asian Cup clash on Friday when the Philipines meet China in Group C.
China coach Lippi and Philippines manager Eriksson will both be vying to secure a spot in the knockout phases following the group stage, which is underway, with China having registered an opening day win against Kyrgyzstan – while the Philippines sit bottom off the group having lost their first match to South Korea.
|Game||Philippines vs China|
|Date||Friday, January 11|
|Time||1:30pm GMT / 8:30am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will not be televised or livestreamed.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be televised or livestreamed.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Villanueva, Falkesgaard, Mendoza|
|Defenders||Siva, de Murga, Sato, Palla, Aguinaldo|
|Midfielders||Strauß, Woodland, Ma. Ott, Ramsay, Reed, Ingreso, Schrock, Tanton, J. Younghusband|
|Forwards||Mi. Ott, Bedic, P. Younghusband, Reichelt, Dizon, Patino|
Philippines striker Javier Patino could prove to be a threat to China after an impressive display against South Korea, while Eriksen has no major injury concerns to worry about.
Potential Philippines XI: Falkesgaard; de Murga, Sato, Palla, Aguinaldo; J. Younghusband, Ott, Schrok, Ramsey; P. Younghusband, Patino.
|Goalkeepers||Junling, Lu, Dalei|
|Defenders||Yiming, Yang, Ke, Linpeng, Xiaoting, Chengdong, Yang|
|Midfielders||Xuri, Zhi, Junmin, Zhongguo, Xi, Jingdao, Hanchao, Cheng|
|Forwards||Lei, Zhi, Shihao, Lin, Dabao|
Yu Dabao is expected to slot straight into the starting XI following his match-winning goal against Kyrgyzstan in their opening game of the competition, while captain Zheng Zhi – who has experience playing in Europe with Charlton Athletic and Celtic earlier in his career – is expected to be a key player.
Potential China XI: Dalei; Linpeng, Xiaoting, Chengdong, Yang; Zhi, Junmin, Xuri; Lin, Lei, Dabao.
Betting & Match Odds
China are priced at odds of winning 4/7 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 14/5. A win for Philippines is priced at 11/2.
China will head into the match with more momentum than the Philippines after their 2-1 opening day fixture, while their opponents fell to an unfortunate 1-0 defeat against a resilient South Korea.
Eriksson has said in the past that Lippi was a close companion after the two faced each other together in Italy and China, though for 90 minutes on Friday will see their friendship take a backseat.
The Swede spent four years in Chinese football from 2013 to 2017 and also played against one another in Italy – Eriksen at Sampdoria and Lazio and Lippi at Inter, Juventus and Napoli.
Eriksen's reign as Azkals manager is a short stint – his reign starting in November 2018 – with his duties ending following the conclusion of his side's participation in the tournament, though he has vowed to make it one to remember.
"I respect him and he is a good friend but tomorrow at 5.30pm, our friendship will have to take a backseat for a while. I wish him well but not for tomorrow," said Eriksson.
"The players are very excited about the match, especially after our performance against Korea Republic. This is a chance for them to prove themselves again.
"This generation of players have so much promise and I am sure that in 10 years, football will enjoy more importance in the Philippines."
China have an edge of their opponents as the last meeting between the two ended in an 8-1 win in June 2017. They capitalised on a Pavel Matyash own goal in their debut game against Kyrgyzstan that was doubled by a Yu Dabao strike late in the second half, with Akhlidin Israilov's first-half goal not enough to pick up a draw.
They currently top the group with one win in one and remain in first place over 2018 Asian Games winners South Korea.